Choire Sicha, who was in his second stint as Gawker's managing editor, is irreplaceable [though you'll still be able to read his columns here]. But at least this unwelcome gap at the top of Gawker allows us to do something we haven't before. We're casting a wide net for candidates, beyond the clubby world of bloggers. Because Gawker is becoming a larger and more complex operation, and, frankly, a more traditional one.
It's no longer enough to take stories from the New York Times, and add a dash of snark. Gawker needs to break and develop more stories. And the new managing editor will need to hire and manage reporters, as well as bloggers. Gawker.com receives more than 10m pageviews per month. Think of Gawker less as a blog than as a full-blown news site. The right candidate will oversee Gawker's evolution.
A feel for the tone of the internet, and the particular obsessions of the internet audience, is necessary. But print reporters and editors, with traditional newsgathering skills, should not rule themselves out. Newspapers provide no long-term job security; this is the chance to make the leap over into online journalism.